The Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2014 the Year of Family Farming with the aim of highlighting the important role family and small farms play in feeding the world. To do our part, throughout 2014 we are featuring some of our favorite images and words from Iowa books on family farms. Here’s the latest!
“Married in 1941, Mabel Schweers and her husband, Art, farmed 400 acres in Adams County, Iowa. They promised each of their eleven children one year of paid tuition at the college of their choosing and expected their farm income would fulfill this promise. Schweers described their diversified farm as productive and stable. She earned cash income through the sale of eggs, provided much of the family’s food through gardening and canning, and sewed most of the family’s clothing…. She believed men and women worked equally hard, saying, ‘On the farm, the women had just as big a part to play as the men. My daughters milked just like my sons did. They loaded bales. They could do anything. They could drive the tractor. They could do anything.’”
excerpt from On Behalf of the Family Farm: Iowa Farm Women's Activism since 1945, by Jenny Barker Devine
photographs from A Bountiful Harvest: The Midwestern Farm Photographs of Pete Wettach, 1925-1965, by Leslie A. Loveless